Last night we were watching the latest episode of Into the Badlands (which isn’t a terrible show by the way, but is just a little to haphazard to imagine it being renewed) when Jimmy asked me if I was watching for inspiration for our game. I didn’t respond then but I want to make one thing clear: I am always looking for inspiration!
Anything and everything can be used for inspiration for role playing in my opinion. From the dreadful realities of current politics, to the most obvious sources. When it comes to my ideas for my campaign, my character in other games, or future campaigns I let myself be a sponge. I think that is the only way to approach these things.
Current politics and recent events have me thinking about ways to incorporate a preacher who demands that the only true faith is his God, and all the other Gods must be destroyed. And a military leader who believes that only Humans can be allowed to rule and run things. I might not get into these but it is an intriguing idea. Like one friend talked about the time he had his players run into some Dwarven Supremacists, which is an interesting concept.
And any movie or book can work as an inspiration. From my continued re-reading of the Wheel of Time to the intermittent new books I explore. And of course any movie has that possibility, like I pointed out from watching The Quick and the Dead, and Last Valley on Friday night.
I admit that I can be overwhelmed by this approach from time to time. I get so many ideas that it gets hard to keep the game focused. And that is an issue that I admit to running into on more than a few occasions. So many inspirations and not enough avenues to explore them.
And some times I stumble across something and it goes another direction. For example, in our Pathfinder game the GM said we would be going to Egypt. Which led me to looking up Ancient Egyptian Snake Gods, given that my character is a Snake Shaman. Which meant I discovered that in that mythos the Snake God, Apep, is one of the big bad guys. Which I pointed out before thinking things through. Which means two things. First, as the player I need to be careful about flaunting my Snake worship. Second, I inadvertently gave the GM a big tool which he can use to mess with me.
But I think as a creator, which is what a good GM is, you have to be open to inspiration. Even if it just characters you can use as NPC’s. Keep your mind open, and then have a place to catalog those ideas down when they come up. Because you never know when you may want to use them.